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NBA Lockout: Derek Fisher Not For Union Decertification

Both the NBA Owners and the Player's Association retreat today to different locations to try and establish some sort of unity in each respective camp. On the Player's side, Union Chief Billy Hunter is facing another battle from a group of power agents that are pushing the idea of decertification which has often been referred to as the 'nuclear option'. CBS Sports' Ken Berger writes that decertification presents three outcomes for the players and all of them are bad.

The nuclear option of decertification, which didn't work for the NFL players but now is being championed by some NBA agents, could result in three possible outcomes, all of which are bad for the players: 1) The legal messiness of it would virtually assure that most or all of the season would be lost; 2) When it's inevitably shot down in federal court, the players would have no choice but to accept a far worse deal than they're being offered now; or 3) Both.

Not surprisingly, union president Derek Fisher opposes decertification and says that the concerned agents have not bothered to contact him to express their concerns with the negotiations. Fisher goes on to point out the risks involved for the players if they chose to dissolve the Union.

Decertification is viewed by some as the best way to increase the players’ leverage at the bargaining table. By dissolving the union, players gain the right to sue the league under antitrust laws and perhaps secure an injunction to end the lockout. It is also considered a risky and expensive legal gambit, one that could take months or even years to resolve. Fisher referred to decertification as a "drastic move that leaves every player without pensions, without health care" and without the legal protections of the union.

No doubt that decertification will come up at today's meeting and there is a report that Billy Hunter has enlisted the services of NFLPA union chief DeMaurice Smith to speak on the subject at today's meeting.

From an outside perspective it seems that the best scenario for both sides is to survive today's internal meetings and get back to the negotiating table. It certainly doesn't appear that decertification is an answer until if things were to the point that all hope was lost for a season this year.